Q: Tell me about the character you play in Big Nothing?
AE: She’s called Josie, or maybe she’s not…she’s
a bit of a con artist, so you don’t really know who
she is. She’s a middle American you know – a
proper American girl. She’s intelligent, she’s
clever and she runs rings around these guys. Basically, I
think in a way she choreographs this whole heist or whatever
you care to call it. Eventually that leads them all to a
less than favourable conclusion than I think they’d
hoped. She’s kind of the brains behind this operation
or at least the energy - that kind of female controlling
energy. Oh and she’s a nutter and she’s a murderer.
Q: But she comes across as almost innocent
AE: Yeah, well Jean-Baptiste used the word “schizophrenic”.
I don’t think that’s quite what she is. She does
definitely have a bi-polarity to her. She’s able to
switch without thought or premeditation from a psychotic
state to a really endearing charming forthright, friendly
person. That’s obviously what makes it such a great
role. When I read the script I felt honoured to be playing
it because it’s so different and when you meet me,
you probably wouldn’t immediately think, Oh that’s
our Josie. So it’s great to create her - she’s
got a lot of colours, she’s hard core and she’s
tough as old boots! She’s really in love with Gus I
think, so that’s quite human for her. It’s
also nice for an actress to have that otherwise you could
lose her. I think she does have a lot about her, she does
have feeling and she does care.
Roles like Josie are without a doubt rare. I’m lucky.
Unless you’ve made a name for yourself and you can
seek them out and get them made, parts like this for women
are just hard to come by. Especially for young women - you’re
often the love interest or you are wearing a corset, but
with this there’s huge scope. For my age group it’s
fantastic to have the opportunity and work with these guys.
I’ve learnt so much just by being around them and
you just learn so much.
Q: How was the audition?
AE: I just did it. I went in and I just did it. It was very
well written, and I just said the lines in the way that I
thought Josie would.
Q: How’s it been doing the accent?
AE: It’s interesting to talk about the accent because
there isn’t actually a specific accent, because she’s
constantly pretending she’s from somewhere else. So,
it wouldn’t have been right to have done a typical
Oklahoma accent for example, where she claims she’s
from. She’s obviously a bit of a duplicitous one and
doesn’t have a grounding in any state. Also, part of
her whole guise would be to not allow herself to be identifiable
by a deep southern accent or something. We went for general
American accent, but I spent a lot of my childhood in L.A.
so I do feel very comfortable there and I do kind of just
slip into it quite easily. It’s like Jean-Baptiste’s
French and then he just speaks English, it’s kind
of like that
Q: Shooting here in Wales when it’s
supposed to be Oregon must be quite surreal?
AE: The whole thing’s quite surreal! It’s quite
cartoony. We don’t have any blood pouring out when
we’re hurt - there’s no kind of Tarantino gore
pouring down our faces. It’s done like Tom and Jerry!
A lot of the background and set design is very stylised and
we’re in a sort of alternative universe. We live in
a bubble, because we’re psychos! That’s echoed
I think in the whole feeling around and Charlie the poor
sod is the only one from the real world.
Q: Tell me a bit about working with David Schwimmer
AE: It’s lovely working with the Schwim - he’s
a dude. He was Ross for a bit and now he’s just David.
I’m a Schwim fan definitely. He and Simon Pegg have
a good thing going on. Simon’s a killer - if you say
anything to him he’s just straight there with a comeback.
I really like David we get on – we get on as a little
trio too, probably because we’ve been stranded on
various depressing, cold, gloomy locations together in
Q: Simon was telling us that your first scene together
was a sex scene
AE: Oh my god, I mean who the fuck scheduled that!? It
was like the most evil thing. I’m like, “Hi nice
to meet you Simon”, then the direction is, “OK,
you sit on him naked and bounce”. That was some baptism
of fire. But hell, it’s been a good shoot, so maybe
sex is a good way to start!